Razorfish report dispels social myths

If you’re trying to build a brand through social media or influencers, chances are you’ve experienced a steep learning curve.  Well, don’t feel so bad — you have plenty of company according to a new report launched by my employer Razorfish.

According to Fluent: The Razorfish Social Influence Marketing Report, companies still have a long way to go in order to build their brands effectively through social.  Consumers surveyed by Razorfish report widespread indifference to brands in the social world.  For instance, about 60 percent of consumers don’t bother to seek out opinions of brands via social media.

The notion that brands are finally learning the social ropes is among the Social Influence Marketing myths that Fluent dispels, as discussed by my colleague Shiv Singh, the report’s principal author and editor.  Another interesting finding: consumers believe television is more trustworthy than social media advertising when purchase decisions are made:

So what gives?

The problem is actually not all that complicated: marketers are treating social just like TV, as a broadcast mechanism.  So actually we should not be surprised that consumers trust TV more than social ads.  TV has been around for decades.  Consumers are more comfortable with TV in many respects.

We believe the answer is for companies to take advantage of the participatory nature of social and to develop an authentic social voice built on humility and genuine interest in consumers.  Comcast is trying to do so through its responsive Comcast Cares account in Twitter.  (Speaking as a consumer, I’ve used Comcast Cares to address problems with my bill, and Comcast really does care.)  Comcast doesn’t use Twitter to tell you how great it is but to participate in the conversation we’re having about Comcast. Comcast is acting like a brand that does instead of a brand that just talks.

Razorfish works with a number of companies that also demonstrate the right way to build a brand in the social world. I’ve blogged about a number of them, such as Intel, Levi’s, and Mattel.  For instance, to build brand awareness among gamers and designers, in 2008 Intel worked with Razorfish to launch the Digital Drag Race.  The Digital Drag Race challenged designers to create short films using the Intel Core i7 microprocessor.  Intel employed social media influencers (including Intel’s own Michael Brito) and media (including contest entries posted on YouTube) to generate buzz among the design and gaming community.

Fluent is also significant for introducing the SIM Score, designed to help marketers measure the effectiveness of your brand in a world where social influencers hold sway.  The SIM Score, created with the help of TNS Cymfony and The Keller Group, measures how much consumers talk about your brand and how positive or negative those discussions are.  In Fluent, Razorfish applies the SIM Score to companies ranging from GM to Capital One.  Although the SIM Score focuses on the online world, in two industries we correlate the SIM score to the offline world, too.

Check out what Advertising Age says about the SIM Score.  For other outside perspectives, blog posts from Guy Kawasaki and Dave Knox are also informative.

Let me know what you think of Fluent.  Please also visit Shiv Singh’s blog, Going Social Now, where periodically Shiv will provide deeper commentary on Fluent.

5 thoughts on “Razorfish report dispels social myths

  1. Great info, thanks for posting this. If \”60 percent of consumers don’t bother to seek out opinions of brands via social media\” and yet opinions of friends and word-of-mouth remains a massive influencing force in purchasing decisions, could it be that those polled in this study simply weren\’t clear about what social media is, and how they interact with others while they use it?

    for example: I don\’t go to facebook to research which sushi joint I will eat at in a new town, I\’ll use yelp.com (another social media outlet). However, if a friend recommends a sushi joint in their facebook newsfeed, I\’m very likely to listen to them if the geography works out. The difference is that I won\’t scour my facebook feed to find sushi recommendations.

    Is this just a case of how people think they use this stuff, vs how they actually do? If so, might that suggest different strategies across different social media outlets, versus lumping all social media together as a single tactic?

  2. Thank you for the thoughtful input. Sixty percent of consumers surveyed by Razorfish are not seeking insight from the brands themselves. Instead, they are bypassing brands and recommending products and services to each other. This is especially true in the offline world. I definitely agree with you that brands should employ different approaches to engaging with consumers across different social media outlets. \”Fluent\” contains insights into howother people influence purchase decisions at various stages of the marketing funnel (see especially Figure 3). We\’re advising clients to consider different approaches at various stages of awareness, consideration, and action. You raise some great points, and we appreciate them.

  3. Pingback: Twitted by cyclonus

  4. Pingback: How will social media and CMS or ECM converge? « CMS Outlook

  5. Pingback: Reading The Razorfish Social Influence Marketing report « Fredzimny’s CCCCC Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *